GP2

Catalunya: Arden race one, two report

Podium for Ammermueller in Spain Third place for Michael Ammermueller in the Saturday race was the highlight of a weekend of mixed fortunes for Arden in Spain. Michael started from fifth, and ran strongly throughout the race. Drive through ...

Podium for Ammermueller in Spain

Third place for Michael Ammermueller in the Saturday race was the highlight of a weekend of mixed fortunes for Arden in Spain.

Michael started from fifth, and ran strongly throughout the race. Drive through penalties for a couple of his close rivals gave him a helping hand, and he eventually finished behind only the ART cars of Alex Premat and Lewis Hamilton.

Michael started sixth on Sunday, but when a car ahead stalled he had to slow to avoid it, and lost some places. He ended the first lap in eighth place, and in a race that saw hardly any changes of position throughout the field, he wasn't able to make any progress.

From 13th on the grid Nicolas made an early pit stop, but was not happy with the car on his second set of tyres. The left front began locking, and eventually he decided to stop for safety reasons. The team later determined that the right rear had lost pressure and was in effect causing the tyre at the opposite corner to lift up and thus lock easily.

On Sunday Nicolas gained some places at the start but found himself stuck in 13th place. He was eventually forced to retire when he suffered an engine problem.

Arden is second in the teams' championship, while in the drivers' Championship Nicolas is fifth on 25 points, and Michael sixth on 23 points. Both of them are now looking ahead to Monaco, a track that Michael has not experienced before.

Michael Ammermueller - Saturday: 'I'm satisfied with the race, finishing third when I started fifth. I had quite a good start, but into the first corner I lost two positions. I then followed Bruni for a couple of laps, before coming in for a pit stop, which was very good. I think it was one of the best. Then after the pit stop I came out in front of Piccione. I began to catch Premat, but in the end the tyres had gone off a bit. Tomorrow it will be quite difficult, because it's hard to overtake. I will start and hope to make some points. I had to do a doping test after the race, and it's not so easy when someone is waiting behind you!' Sunday: 'The start was not too bad, but the guy who started second stalled on the grid, and I had to lift the throttle, so I lost some positions. I was eighth after the start and eighth at the finish, because the track today was completely different to yesterday. I had the opposite problems from yesterday, and it didn't help me. I have never been to Monaco. I have raced karts there, but not on the F1 track! It will be quite difficult for me. But I drove last year in a street circuit, Bilbao, which was a bit like Monaco. We have half an hour more practice time, but if you crash, you have a problem for the rest of the weekend.'

Nicolas Lapierre - Saturday: 'The start was OK, then we pitted on lap two like we planned to. We changed the rear tyres and when I left, the car was not the same, I had a lot of understeer, the traction was bad, and we started to load the front. So I thought we had a bad set of tyres. In the end it was just too much, and the front left tyre was completely destroyed, and I didn't want it to explode. It wasn't touching the ground properly when I was braking, and we found out we had half the pressure we should have on the right rear tyre.' Sunday: 'It was a very boring weekend! Everything went wrong, so it's a weekend to forget. Today we lost some oil pressure, and then we had the alarm, so we just stopped so we didn't destroy it. I had a good start, and came from 19th to 13th, which was OK. But it's difficult to overtake here.'

-aim

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Michael Ammermueller , Lewis Hamilton , Nicolas Lapierre